Friday, October 27, 2006

A Boilermaker is…

Continuing our look at the upcoming opponent’s mascot and its meaning in the community and around the world, we focus on the Boilermaker. What exactly is a Boilermaker? Well, read on because a Boilermaker is…

…a cocktail
Although there is a lot of disagreement in the execution of a Boilermaker, the drink consists of a shot of liquor (usually American Whiskey) and a glass of beer (usually American beer for it’s low alcohol content). Typically the shot and beer are served separate and the consumer drinks the shot in one gulp and “chases it” with the beer. The shot and beer can be mixed before hand by the bartender or the consumer or the consumer can drop the shot, glass and all, into the beer and immediately chug the mixture. This method, in some circles, is referred to as a “depth charge” because of the violent fizzing caused by the carbonation in the beer. Although bartender guides differ on the Boilermaker’s implementation, they all agree that speed is key.

…a 15K race
For four years consecutively, the Boilermaker 15K Road Race has been the largest 15K in the nation attracting Olympians and world record holders to upstate New York. The race was established in 1978 by Earle C. Reed who was looking for a way to give back to the community that had supported his family's business, Utica Companies. It got its name by combining the nature of Reed’s company, Utica Boilers, with the drink previously mentioned.

…a Pittsburgh Jazz band
Paul Cosentino founded the Boilermaker Jazz Band in 1988 at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. The group has a wide repertoire that can make an audience swing to a classic jazz standard, get sentimental over an old-time ballad, boogie to a hot jump tune, or get low-down with a gritty blues. The Boilermakers have recorded six critically acclaimed CD's - including an award winning children's recording - and have received rave reviews for their excellent live performances. Can’t figure out how to make the Company Christmas party special? Call in the Boilermakers. They can performs for festivals, concerts, clubs, dances, seminars, company events, weddings, and parties of any kind. After reading their website, even I want to hear them now.

…a Steelworker
A Boilermaker is a trained craftsman who produces or repairs steel fabricated boilers or blast furnaces. Their labor union, The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers, considers anyone that is part of the union to be a Boilermaker even if they do not actually work in boiler construction or repair.

… the Purdue mascot
So that brings us to the confusing mascot of the Purdue Athletic Association. The origin of the Boilermakers name came in 1891 when Purdue's football team beat Wabash College 44-0 and a sports writer for the Daily Argus wrote "Slaughter of Innocents" with a sub heading "Wabash Snowed Completely Under by the Burly Boiler Makers from Purdue." By the next football season, the name had stuck and ever since, Purdue's teams have been known as the Boilermakers. But don’t confuse Purdue Pete, the Iron working – hard hat wearing advertising icon with Purdue’s official mascot.

No, the official mascot is an inanimate object know as the Boilermaker Special. The replica of a Victorian-era locomotive was conceived by a Purdue student in the 1930s to exemplify the engineering heritage of Purdue. From 1891 to 1897 Purdue kept a fully operational steam locomotive, The Schenectady, on hand for research, thus linking the locomotive and Boilermaker moniker. Real boilermakers and blacksmiths would have felt right at home in this university lab.

THIS is the real mascot!

Also, in 1997 a ridiculous and sometimes scary 10 foot inflatable child boilermaker was introduced. The unoffical cheerleading mascot known as “Rowdy” was concevied under the premise (and apparently under the influence of mind altering drugs) that he seeks to enroll at Purdue University someday in his future.

Mommy, make it go away!


Charlie said...

Regarding the Purdue Boilermakers, the story as it was always told at Wabash (unbiased as we no doubt are), was that Purdue had actually hired railroad workers and that's why the moniker "Boilermakers" fell upon them after playing Wabash (and as you noted, destroying us). If only there'd been an NCAA back then to stop such unbridled mockery of college athletics...

Galen said...

Thanks for the update Charlie I never looked into the Wabash side.

By the way, you have quite the eclectic music tastes, according to your profile, even more diverse then mine (my profile doesn’t contain any information about me, I’ll save you the button click).